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Make Sure Your Horse Rescue Organization Doesn't Need Rescuing

When working with a Horse Rescue organization, or working as an individual, you have nothing but the best intentions. You want to protect the horses from further harm. Unfortunately it means that sometimes you’re put in front of financial harm.

A horse rescue organization in Ontario often cares for rescued horses through a shelter or finds them new homes. Sometimes the organization is involved in the rehabilitation of horses, and some specialize in racehorses or senior horses. Many organizations consist of volunteers and organize fundraising activities and educational sessions about horse cruelty and care. To attract people to volunteer and to generate donations they also advertise and promote the organization.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • How to lower risk of liability exposure
  • Common claims that people make against horse rescue organizations
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Other types of insurance you should consider

How Can A Horse Rescue Organization Lower Its Risk To Liability Exposure?

A well-run organization can lessen its liability exposure. You need:

  • A clearly written mission
  • A clear purpose and well-defined procedures
  • No involvement in law enforcement activities surrounding the seizure of horses
  • Strongly worded contracts and agreements
  • Ownership of the rescued horses until they have new ownership

*NOTE. Your organization may not be insurable if you don’t own the horses or if the organization is involved in any conditions evaluation or law enforcement activities.

What Are The Most Common Claim Incidents?

  • While at a foster home the rescued horse injures someone directly or gets loose, heads onto the road and causes an accident.
  • During the adoption process, someone try out the rescued horse and attempts to ride it.
  • The horse owners try to legally stop the evaluation of the horse and its conditions and the seizure of the horse involving the Horse Rescue organization into the lawsuit.
  • At a fundraising event for your Horse Rescue organization a participant becomes injured or property damage occurs.

How Can I Plan Ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and the people that support your organization. There are steps to take to make sure that an accident never happens in the first place.

  1. Enforce barn rules
    Look around and develop rules for your environment for both horses and people. Also write procedures. Then train every staff member to make sure they understand your rules and procedures.

  2. Plan for emergencies
    Emergencies happen, but the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of providing the proper care to all the horses. If you’re prepared you can minimize the severity of any accident.

  3. Develop semi-annual inspections of your property
    By inspecting your premises for potential hazards, you can take care of them before an incident occurs.

  4. Prepare a written waiver and review Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act
    Anyone who participates in any horse activities on your premises needs to complete and sign the waiver. Make sure that you keep the signed forms on file and safely stored. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that the stable owner/operator owes a duty of care to the people who enter their premises. This assures that any property they bring on your premises with them is also reasonably safe. You are free to restrict, modify or exclude this duty of care through your written waiver.

  5. Follow Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act
    This legislation states that it’s mandatory that anyone under the age of 18 years of age must wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards and hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm.

  6. Purchase an Equine Liability Insurance Policy
    Protect you and your business with an insurance company that knows horses and your business. You want to make sure that any legal feels are covered, claim costs and settlements to ensure that in the case of an accident, your business doesn't suffer a financial loss.

What’s Included In The Commercial General Liability Policy?

The policy gives you maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:

  • Medical expenses: You can be sure a claimant’s low cost medical expenses are covered without a lot of questions about liability or responsibility.
  • Legal defense costs: You can save your business the financial burden of court costs if you’re sued, whether the case has merit or not.
  • Claims or settlement costs: Without this policy you could be held responsible for bodily injury and property damage claims.

Are There Other Coverages I Should Consider?

  • Personal Accident Policy: To protect your volunteers they should be insured under a Personal Accident Policy.
  • Directors & Officers Liability: With any organization, you need to protect the risk of liability exposure for the people that make the decisions as they can be held liable in a lawsuit.

You’re doing a wonderful thing for horses and their safety and well-being. At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we respect your dedication to these animals and we want to help protect you. We can help you to understand more about the coverage we offer and we’ll prepare a Free Quote within 1 day.